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Multi Material File Splitting

Discussion in '3D Printing' started by C.A.D., Oct 13, 2018.

  1. C.A.D.

    C.A.D. Member

    I've got a Prusa MMU 2.0 on order. Its on back order until Mid December. In the meantime I'd like to get some files ready to try this out.

    I see that I will need to divide the different colors/materials within a single part and then re-assemble them in the slicer software. I'm curious to know what strategies people are using to do this. These individual divisions have to be such that when combined they re-create the top level part. Booleans come to mind but I've only dabbled in Boolean operations.

    Looking for some good suggestions from the community.
  2. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    The MMU is really just a handy way to avoid dual/multiple nozzles. Beyond that I would think that Slic3r still handles multiple materials the same way i.e. a separate part to represent each material/colour.
  3. C.A.D.

    C.A.D. Member

    Thanks for your reply.

    I know I can use Autodesk's Meshmixer (which I don't know how to use) to apply different colors etc. but I was hoping to use the software I do know how to use, Alibre, to create a sub-assembly of the different color/material parts of a design. Also I've been using Simplify3d, that I have a monetary investment in. From what I can tell that software can re-assemble multi-color/material parts and then slice to different extruders (which can be tricked into working with the Prusa approach).

    I was hoping for tips from people actually doing this with Alibre now and how they go about it. As I mentioned I was thinking Boolean subtract might work and then making an assembly of the pieces after the fact. I assume folks on this community are using at least dual extruders now and they must be going through this conversion process.
  4. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    I've done many multimaterial prints. Not with Slic3r or Simplify3D but that's really not the point., the principle is the same. It is exactly as you say (and as I said above), simply make a part for each colour. The parts are then uploaded into the slicer one at a time to form an assembly. Assign extruders and you're good to go...
  5. C.A.D.

    C.A.D. Member

    I guess I should have read your first post more carefully.

    I am interested in creating a single part that makes use of multiple colors/materials within itself. Prusa has a demo that they took a model of Josef Prusa's caricature and his skin is one color, his glasses another, his hat another, and his beard a final color. They are brought into a slicer software reassembled and then set up to switch colors per layer.

    My question is on the method used in Alibre to carve up a model in such a way that each piece can be reassembled back together as separate stl files in a slicer.

    Say for example I want raised letter label portion in another color. Say I want the same model to also have 3 mounting lugs in different colors for assembly order instructions.
  6. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    If its an existing model then you'll have to manually create your splits. Depending on the model it can be tough to do.
  7. C.A.D.

    C.A.D. Member

    Thanks for your interest and replies. Hopefully there's someone in the community that's doing this kind of thing routinely and they may have some tips and tricks to pass on.
  8. beastro

    beastro Senior Member

    I have not done any MM printing, but have MMU 2.0 on order as well for my MK3. I envision doing what you are asking in form of assemblies and top down design.
    For your example that would mean creating an assembly that is composed of
    • base plate
    • letter color 1 created as a new part in assembly as a interdesign feature
    • letter color 2 - the same as above
    • etc.
    Does that make sense?
  9. C.A.D.

    C.A.D. Member

    It does. I will probably do a lot of prints that way too. Individual add-on elements forming an assembly. However, I don't want to be limited in utilizing the more sophisticated means of dressing up my parts.

    Still hoping someone is already doing this and can share how they do it.

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